grain box cars were primary coal carriers


rockroll50401 <cepropst@...>
 

Many mid-western roads
hauled coal in gons, not hoppers. Labor was cheap,
Doug Harding
Add to Doug's comments: When a gondola was spotted at the coal shed's
trackside door (most elevators had coal sheds) it could have been
unloaded by day labor. I know/knew guys that would do such jobs on
Saturdays. They would first throw chunks of coal into the bin until
they reached the floor of the car then they could scoop shovel the
rest in through the shed door. You got $5 and needed a shower.
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


Douglas Harding
 

Denny, right you are. I preach for the first time at the Ocheyedan UMC at
10:30 tomorrow morning. Extra points if I pronounce the name correctly.

Would like to know more about the coal dealer, however. When you come for
your annual vacation, drop by and show me the location. As you commented
every town in Iowa had a fuel dealer/lumberyard who handled coal. But few,
if any, had trestles for unloading hoppers. Coal was stored on the ground,
often shoveled out by hand from gons and boxcars. Many mid-western roads
hauled coal in gons, not hoppers. Labor was cheap, and I suspect that
unloading a gon of coal was "filler" work for the local lumber yard crew,
something to do when no other work was demanded. Coal was hauled in boxcars
during the winter months, to keep it from getting wet and freezing into one
large lump.

Doug Harding
Iowa Central Railroad
www.iowacentralrr.org
Now relocated in Sibley, Ia.


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

Clark Probst , who is only a near-miss-Minnesotan, writes-

Minnesota is big on twin names. You got the Twin Cities, Twin Ports,
Minnesota Twins, Ole and Lena....

Now, as to Ole and Lena: THAT, I do understand-

Denny



--
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento


Tom Gloger
 

Another item for the coal-in-boxcars discussion: Prior to WWII, the
Truax-Traer Coal Company and others operated several open-pit lignite
mines in Northwest North Dakota, some of them shipping up to 100
carloads daily. They prefered to use box cars to carry it, as lignite
is a low grade of coal and tends to crumble as it dries. I don't know
which direction it was shipped.


Dennis Storzek <dstorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Denny Anspach <danspach@...> wrote:

...If these grain cars carried coal, then how did they block the doors-
"grain doors" again? Although I would suspect that coal is actually
relatively "clean", I would also presume that a car that carried coal
would have had to be thoroughly cleaned to a certain level of
cleanliness to then carry grain again. If so, how did that work?
Most likely a broom. After all, the cars were carrying GRAIN, not
flour. Considering that the FDA has written specifications for the
maximum amount of insect parts allowable in milled cereal grain, I
don't see where a little coal dust would be a problem :-)

Dennis


rockroll50401 <cepropst@...>
 

Hi Denny,
There is a list from a depot agent's seal book in the M&StL group
files for Fairfax MN. There are several box cars of coal delivered and
these same cars were filled with corn before being picked up. All
probably to and from the Twin Ports.
Minnesota is big on twin names. You got the Twin Cities, Twin Ports,
Minnesota Twins, Ole and Lena....
Clark Propst


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

Very interesting comment on the common use of grain cars for the backhaul carriage of retail coal.

I recall well that about every little Iowa town's fuel dealer had a coal yard, also very commonly in my memory an appendage of the local lumber yard- always along a railroad siding. These were ground level compounds, and it was obvious to me that most of these had to be at one time filled by hand from whatever railroad car brought it in (in later years, of course, by dump-truck haul).

If these grain cars carried coal, then how did they block the doors- "grain doors" again? Although I would suspect that coal is actually relatively "clean", I would also presume that a car that carried coal would have had to be thoroughly cleaned to a certain level of cleanliness to then carry grain again. If so, how did that work?

Our family dealt with such an old railroad-era coal yard in Ocheydan, Iowa well into the late '80s and early '90s both to feed a fireplace; but also more specifically the firebox of a steam launch. If I recall correctly, in later years, the coal may have been in burlap bags.

(It suddenly occurs to me that a long time participant on this list, the Rev. Douglas Harding, is as we speak, the very newly-installed pastor of the Methodist Church in Ocheydan!)
--
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento